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Linux How Do You Learn?


Thomas
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VPS's and most of the web seem to be running on Linux servers but I've never been comfortable enough to buy one because I simply don't know how to use them.

 

Command lines? Linux? It makes my head hurt.

 

How did you guys learn to use these programs? Was it through sheer trial and error? Documents? Books?

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Easy answer to this is you have to eventually force yourself to learn. Get a server and as and when you want to do something, do it. If you dont know how google it and find out. If you break something, do not ask someone to fix it, instead either ask how to fix it of someone or again google it. IMO it really is the only way to learn it properly.

 

If however you want to give yourself a little bit of a kick start before you decide to get a server for yourself, I would suggest moving over to a linux dist like ubuntu,kubuntu etc. Force yourself to use this and only this for a month at minimum and as you come across problems try to find out how to do it rather than reverting to windows. Set yourself up a LAMP stack (apache, php, mysql) but instead of using easy to use installers, install apache, then download php and read instructions on how to install it and configure it ready for use in apache. Check by creating yourself a php info file. Do the same with mysql and also install and configure phpmyadmin.

 

Once you have done that start downloading and installing web apps on your local server. Things like phpbb, free galleries you can find around, joomla, wordpress etc. You will find as you are doing this that you will be missing things in your php config, or settings that need changing in your apache configuration. Again google them and find out how to fix them up yourself.

 

You do all the above you will start becoming comfortable enough to know that any problem you have you are likely to be able to fix yourself given enough time. This is how I got myself started with my server. I now run ubuntu and have a dedicated centos server with plesk panel installed, all my php caching set up for vbulletin (although still learning more about this), my apache configuration has been optimised by myself as has mysql. 

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Easy answer to this is you have to eventually force yourself to learn. Get a server and as and when you want to do something, do it. If you dont know how google it and find out. If you break something, do not ask someone to fix it, instead either ask how to fix it of someone or again google it. IMO it really is the only way to learn it properly.

 

If however you want to give yourself a little bit of a kick start before you decide to get a server for yourself, I would suggest moving over to a linux dist like ubuntu,kubuntu etc. Force yourself to use this and only this for a month at minimum and as you come across problems try to find out how to do it rather than reverting to windows. Set yourself up a LAMP stack (apache, php, mysql) but instead of using easy to use installers, install apache, then download php and read instructions on how to install it and configure it ready for use in apache. Check by creating yourself a php info file. Do the same with mysql and also install and configure phpmyadmin.

 

Once you have done that start downloading and installing web apps on your local server. Things like phpbb, free galleries you can find around, joomla, wordpress etc. You will find as you are doing this that you will be missing things in your php config, or settings that need changing in your apache configuration. Again google them and find out how to fix them up yourself.

 

You do all the above you will start becoming comfortable enough to know that any problem you have you are likely to be able to fix yourself given enough time. This is how I got myself started with my server. I now run ubuntu and have a dedicated centos server with plesk panel installed, all my php caching set up for vbulletin (although still learning more about this), my apache configuration has been optimised by myself as has mysql. 

This is the best advice one can get who wants to learn. I am learning the same - managing a web server at the moment - and I am tryingit over the local Ubuntu server which I have installed on my desktop. I agree that my desktop is quite slow and not equipped with high end stuff like a big RAM or a great processor (which definitely makes things slower) - but yes, learning with zero risks involved is much better for me.

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I learned it the hard way.

 

When I moved to a vps, the managed services were beyond my budget. So I had to set up my server myself. After looking around, I noticed that Centos was the common operating system. So I used Centos. Installing the operating system was not a problem. More or less one click and it's done. The next thing to do is to install a control panel. cPanel was also beyond my budget so I looked for a free alternative. I settled on Kloxo. After a number of hits and misses, it wasn't that difficult anymore.

 

Later I read something about Centos being dependent upon RHEL for support. And I also read a recommendation Debian. Debian is a totally independent operating system. So I changed from Centos to Debian. New problem. Kloxo doesn't work well with Debian. Look around again. Decided on Webmin. I also installed Debian on my desktop to familiarize myself with the commands.

 

Still a long way to go. There's still rsync, nginx and nagios to study, just to name a few things still waiting for me to learn.

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  • 1 year later...

I learned Linux by trial and error. Vps's are so cheap to buy one and make a mess of it. ( yes, a mess :) ). Anyway, using a vps to learn and google to help works wonders. If you are like me I only learn by making mistakes which i used to do alot back when i first started with Linux. Now it's just natural I guess.

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How I learned is I went to the bookstore and bought Linux for Dummies and then I started buying more and more Linux book. And then I bought a webserver and started to practice on it. And really that is the only way you are going to learn is by practice. And do not get discouraged when you make a mistake.

 

 

Greg

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